PR Council takes stand on pay equity, asks members to sign zero tolerance oath

The group is asking members to adopt policies to fix PR's longstanding gender pay gap, and to commit to ridding the industry of harassment and discrimination.

Renee Wilson, president, PR Council
Renee Wilson, president, PR Council

NEW YORK: The PR Council is encouraging members to tackle pay equity, harassment, and discrimination within the industry.

In a statement on Monday, the industry group told members to "adopt policies that ensure fair pay for all PR professionals, and to utilize consistent criteria when determining initial and subsequent compensation decisions."

The PR Council also advocated for a consistent review of compensation. The group said it will narrow the gender pay gap and boost employee productivity.

In addition, the council also asked members to commit to zero tolerance for any harassment or discrimination at the workplace or in work-related situations.

Members were asked to sign their names next to the following statement: "As a Member firm of PR Council, we believe it is essential to provide all of our employees with a respectful and safe working environment. Consistent with these values, we will provide an Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy (the "Policy") for our firm."

Representatives from the PR Council were not immediately available for comment.

High-profile stories surrounding comms agencies have roiled the industry and renewed conversations in relation to professional ethics.

A year after Bell Pottinger collapsed, revelations around Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data were brought into the public eye.

Last October, Edelman CEO Richard Edelman called for a new code of ethics for the entire industry. And just a few months later, in February, the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management hosted a summit attended by Edelman and representatives from ICCO, PRSA, IABC, and several others.

Late last year, PR trade groups were thunderstruck by another call to action, this time by PRSA-NY, which called for the industry to release workforce data.

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